July 22, 2009

Sox Trade For Adam LaRoche

The Red Sox have traded for Pittsburgh's Adam LaRoche.

UPDATE, 1:15: WEEI says the Pirates are getting Greenville (A) pitcher Hunter Strickland and Portland (AA) shortstop Argenis Diaz.

Post-Gazette:
12:46 p.m.: Strange, but LaRoche is still sitting in the Pirates' dugout during the game. Hard to tell if he has a uniform on because he is wearing a jacket over the jersey, but he is wearing a Pirates cap. Could be that the Pirates are awaiting paperwork to be completed.
No word yet on who the Red Sox are sending to Pittsburgh.
       AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS  OPS+
2004 .278 .333 .488 .821 108
2005 .259 .320 .455 .775 100
2006 .285 .354 .561 .915 130
2007 .272 .345 .458 .803 108
2008 .270 .341 .500 .841 123
2009 .247 .329 .441 .770 108
This is an upgrade over Mark Kotsay. LHB LaRoche, 29, will most likely play first against against right-handers, with Youkilis moving to third base. Mike Lowell has a .903 OPS against lefties this season.

LaRoche has also been a much better hitter in the second half. The past three seasons, post-July 1 (grabbed from SoSH):
2006: .324 AVG  53 RS  19 HR  50 RBI
2007: .321 AVG 40 RS 11 HR 43 RBI
2008: .321 AVG 34 RS 17 HR 51 RBI
Fangraphs calls LaRoche
good enough to start against right-handers for a team not in contention, but he's a reserve on any team really trying to win. ...

His defense at first is below average, so the overall package is worth about +1 to +2 wins per season. He's not a terrible player - just a bit below average. He's also the kind of player you should never pay serious money to, which is why the Pirates had to be thrilled to dump the rest of the $7 million he was owed for 2009. ...

LaRoche gives them the ability to not have a hole at first base, and that has value. Is it worth $3 million? If you're the Red Sox, apparently it is.

22 comments:

James said...

I think this is a good trade. It gives us a nice rotation for 1st/3rd/DH with two righties and two lefties. Word is it's Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland, the former being a good glove no hit shortstop, the latter is a starter who seems like a fringe prospect with a little bit of upside; I don't know much about him.

9casey said...

Wasn't he part of the Manny trade last year?

tim said...

Decent pickup, I guess. Don't know enough about him to pass judgment yet. But if he keeps up his 2nd half numbers, good.

I dunno about losing faith in Lowell yet, he was hurt earlier in the year and just got that injection or whatever and is easing back into it. I like the depth but I think the guy still might have some pop left in him.

redsock said...

Wasn't he part of the Manny trade last year?

That was his brother Andy.

Kevin said...

"Wasn't he part of the Manny trade last year?"

No, that was Andy, his brother.

James said...

Yeah, it seems like the Pirates really gave up on their all-LaRoche infield pretty quickly.

By the way, the Pirates are loaded with tweener prospects. It seems like not a week goes by where the Pirates don't trade for a C-level guy who's really fast with a great glove but can't hit, a big, strike-throwing righty without a fastball, or a contact hitting no-power guy who can't field. 5 years from now they're going to be absolutely stocked with barely adequate bench guys.

redsock said...

LaRoche will not lead us to the Promised Land, but we also gave up nothing to get him.

He's decent Lowell insurance and should be able to give Flo a day off here and there.

Barth said...

This may mean that Lowell is hurting more than we have understood. LaRoche brings substantial power to a lineup which has been punchless for a month, but only if he plays, of course. And with Papi around (both are lefties) the only place for him to play is first.

He was a better fielder when he first came up than he is now, according the Mets fans I know, but the main purpose in adding him is to score some bleeping runs. If the reports that he is still in a Pirate uniform are true, I would very much like to see him leave the Pittsburgh dugout and get on a plane to Arlington, but my guess is that we won't see him until Friday.

redsock said...

And if his arrival is iffy, the Sox would not want to make a roster move and then be short a man tonight if he can't make it. Day off Thursday. No rush.

redsock said...

Padilla is a RH, though, so getting him in there would be nice. We'll have to wait for the oatmeal, I guess.

Jess said...

Word is, Pirates are paying some of his salary for this year too.

redsock said...

SoSHer Corsi Combover: "I just spoke to my source with the Pirates (I interned for them) and the deal is done and there's no cash involved. Take it FWIW."

L-girl said...

Jess, whoever you are, I love your avatar.

redsock said...

Red Sox press release says nothing about a corresponding move.

redsock said...

In addition to playing with Bay in Pittsburgh, LaRoche was in Atlanta with Smoltz, Green and Drew.

No cash in this deal.

Barth said...

No cash going to Pittsburgh for good reason for crying out loud. The Red Sox have to pay the guy about $3 million for a half-season rental. Still, it should improve us against righties and gives us Lowell insurance. They haven't made a "corresponding move" yet because they don't have to until LaRoche shows up to play. I wonder whether it will be Baldelli. Terry like the flexibility that Kotsay gives him and, of course, Green and Kottaras need to be around since there is no other back up.

The Sox could also do with one fewer pitcher, but we know Terry likes 12 and they have won that way, so I don't imagine they will go that direction, unless it was for a very short time (Masterson?)

James said...

I imagine it's the end of Kotsay. But that's just a guess. Baldelli seems like a more talented player, able to play center, etc.

9casey said...

1:09pm: Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the Pirates are sending cash to the Red Sox to contribute to the remainder of the $7.05MM LaRoche makes this year.

redsock said...

Theo (more here):

"been in a market for a player who can do some damage against righthanded pitching and can help our team's depth in the corner infield"

Had discussions with Pirates about LaRoche for months

trade was "not in the least bit a reaction" to recent woes

LaRoche will join the Red Sox in Boston on Friday

"I think we're a good offensive club having a horrific month. ... We have the potential to be really, really good. But we're not the most prolific offensive club in recent Red Sox history. We certainly have the ability to score enough runs to get where we want to go."

westcoastsox said...

I like this move. Not only Lowell insurance, but Mark-Kotsay-insurance.

9casey said...

westcoastsox said...
I like this move. Not only Lowell insurance, but Mark-Kotsay-insurance.




The roster is only so big. How much insurance can you have.

Iridescence said...

I like this move. It seems like a classic Epstein "buy low" gamble. Doubtful that LaRoche becomes a starter absent injuries but frankly I am sick of Kotsay and he is a definite upgrade over him as a bat off the bench and fill in player.